Ballantyne's fire memorial

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Memorial to the 41 people who lost their lives in the Ballantyne's department store fire on 18 November 1947. The last two images were taken in 2012 and show the damage caused to the memorial by the Canterbury earthquakes.

The memorial is in the Ruru Lawn Cemetery, west of the war graves section. It consists of a semi-circular rose garden with a stone and timber pergola at the head. Each rose has a bronze marker with the name of a person who lost their life in the fire. The rear wall of the pergola has a marble plaque inset depicting the victims' names. 

Read more about the Ballantyne's fire on NZHistory and Te Ara. See also an image of the funeral for the Ballantyne's fire victims held in the cemetery (Te Ara).

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Richard Hadfield

Posted: 26 Apr 2021

My mother, Shirley Hall, was in Ballentynes celebrating her 21st Birthday on that day, Thankfully, she was able to escape else I would not be writing this. Each birthday subsequently, she remembered that day and how lucky she had been. She and her friends all got out alive. She took her memories to the grave when she died of old age on 30 May 2013. She is buried at Frensham church, Surrey, UK. “Always a Kiwi at heart” is inscribed on the headstone.